Heat was also believed to be a cause of the disease. People washed their feet and hands regularly but, not their bodies because this would open pores, another way for the disease to enter the body. Three Major Outbreaks The first plague was the Plague of Justinian. The plague followed trade routes to France and Italy. It killed 70,000 people.
The Black Death was more terrible, and killed more people than any war in history. The plague was so horrible and terrifying that people said it made all other disasters in the Middle Ages seem like a walk in the park when compared it to the Black Death. The infested rat, called the black ship rat, was carried in the baggage of merchants on board ships traveling all over the Mediterranean. They didn't know it, but It was the people that actually spread the disease across the land. The plague spread in a great arc across Europe, starting in the east in the Mediterranean Sea, and ending up in Germany.
They appeared as small grayish spots and the presence of these bites always brought about the bubonic swelling in the affected region of the body. W.M.W. Haffkine created a vaccine made of killed broth cultures of the plague bacillus. What is in store for the future? Bubonic plague will continue to inflict humans for a long time to come because of plague¹s presence in so many burrowing rodents.
The Black Plague was brought upon Europe through the fleas that were on the bodies of rats. As soon as an infected flea bites a single human, anywhere in the world, they are infected with the deadly virus that the fleas carry. The rats with fleas would climb up into the trade boats and get off at another place spreading the disease to many places in the Middle Ages. But the rats were also affected by the fleas’ virus, the rats could survive with a few bacteria in them but eventually, they will die after a few days of also being infected like the humans. The Black Plague was out of three plagues but it was mostly of the bubonic plague which are the least toxic out of the other plague but it is still highly lethal, killing 50% to 60% of its victims, the pneumonic plague which affects the lungs, and the septicaemic plague which affects the blood.
Worldwide, there are roughly 1,000 to 3,000 cases a year, most of which are only contracted in Third World countries. But modern physicians are fully capable of effectively treating the plague--if is caught early--with antibiotics. Unfortunately, this was not the case during the Dark Ages. The most infamous plague throughout history was the Black Death. During the Middle Ages, around the mid-14th century, the Black Death was a pandemic outbreak that swept all across Asia and Europe and killed an estimated 25 million people.
The few of the crew members that were left alive carried with them a deadly disease so perilous that it would ultimately lead to death (Douglass, 1996). The sailors became infected when sick rats from Central Asia boarded their ships and the fleas that were feasting on the rats bit the sailors (Truitt, 2001). It was thought that the disease originated from the Far East and was spread along major trade routes. When it became clear that the ships from east carried the plague, Messina closed its port. The Ships were forced to seek harbor elsewhere around the Mediterranean, which allowed the disease to spread very quickly (Truitt, 2001).
The victims were subjected to headache, nausea, aching joints, and fever of 101- 105 degrees, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness (The Black Death). Symptoms usually took one to seven days to appear. The second most common form of the Black Death was the pneumonic plague; the victims often died before they could reach other places. The pneumonic plague mainly attacked the lungs. Symptoms included slimy sputum tinted with blood.
THE BUBONIC PLAGUE Can one single infested rat change the whole course of history? During Shakespeare’s time it changed almost every single person’s life. Shakespeare was very affected by the Bubonic plague caused by the rats. Shakespeare had three sisters and a brother that were killed by this deadly disease. His only son was also killed by the Bubonic Plague.
The disease spread very quickly, and that is because the people in the towns and cities lived close together and didn’t know anything about contagious diseases. If they did then they would’ve avoided close contact and not cough or sneeze on people. That would prevent it better (Trueman). By Spring of 1349 the Black Death had killed six out of every ten people that lived in London (Chris). After the disease reached Crimea it was likely that it was carried by oriental rat fleas living on black rats that were regular passengers on ships.
It spread and killed with such a virulence that the course of human history was forever changed. Little known to the average person, three forms of the Black Death existed. All were caused by the same bacteria, but they each were comprised of very different symptoms. The three forms, though not equally as deadly, viciously killed millions of people during the Middle Ages. The most common and well-known strain of the Black Death was the bubonic plague.